I love the fact that so many people have been participating in the challenges and this month’s challenge is the “easiest” yet!
As I have been and continue to mention, the primary goal in issuing these challenges is to help people in get good HABITS!
A prime example of this is the fact that we had a bit of a surprise and little Isaac snuck up on a a couple of weeks early.
My normal routine of activities was totally shot as was most of the time I would have committed to last month’s Ruck Challenge, but I was able to take some of the habits from the other challenges (as well as some of my experimentation for this one) and keep somewhat active in the hospital and at home with swings and push ups.
This month’s challenge is predicated upon you being honest with yourself. The goal is to improve your ability to perform PERFECT PUSH UPS, and if you cheat in any way you are doing yourself a disservice. I strongly recommend that you take video of you performing your push ups, especially on your max days.
One of the primary issues people have is not hitting depth, meaning the the upper arms do not get totally parallel to the floor. A good way to ensure that you are reaching depth is to take a tennis ball and place it under yourself. Touching your sternum to the ball on EVERY REP will ensure that you are hitting the required depth.
I can’t emphasize this enough, and just like squatting, if you practice in a limited range you will only make it harder for yourself to make any future improvements. Take the time now to reduce your reps if need be in order to ensure that you are doing them properly.
This strategy is super simple. It is often called “Grease the Groove” and means to frequently do sub-maximal perfect reps in an effort to make your body more efficient at doing said movement. This will be the least time intensive challenge we have done, literally only taking a few minutes per day…like 2-6 TOTAL minutes per day depending on how many reps you will be doing.
This is how it works:
Find the most PERFECT PUSH UPS you can do consecutively without breaking form. If you need to rest it is done in a front rest position (tall plank with a straight line from head to heels/knees depending). You can do standard push ups to start and once your form is ready to deteriorate, you immediately switch to modified push ups. Document both of these numbers as this is what your week’s work is calculated with.
3×50% means do 3 sets of half your total push ups. Spread the sets out throughout the day so as to be well rested when you begin each set…once again, ensure PERFECT FORM on every single rep!
Choose one of the below options. My example is as follows:
3/1: 41 push ups
3/2: 3 sets of 21 push ups (As you can see I rounded up one rep from my 50%.)
3/3: 4 sets of 21 push ups
3/4: 5 sets of 21 push ups
3/5: 6 sets of 21 push ups
3/6 off (the 1st was a Tuesday so this first week is a bit short)
3/7 I will max again and then recalculate what my reps will be for the following week. For example if I get 45 push ups I will begin on Monday with 3 sets of 23 push ups (I once again rounded up) and then go to 4 sets of 23 the next day and so on…
The examples are as follows:
As always, you can stack past challenges together and I STRONGLY encourage you to do so. Get a couple days of swings and grab a few days with a couple mile ruck in addition to this. I guarantee that if you consistently do a bit of each of these things you will see significant progress in reasonably short order!